Documentation as a strategy to preserve immersive media
Institutions in charge of the preservation of immersive media are struggling to keep up with the technological developments and as there are no international guidelines, they are forced to define their own strategies. It is inevitable that immersive media will become obsolete, which increases the importance of documentation as the final remaining trace of an artwork. Tate Modern and NISV have collaborated in the creation of the ‘Preserving Immersive Media Knowledge Base’ (PIMKB), to centralize their knowledge regarding the preservation of immersive media. This study aims to contribute to the PIMKB by recommending implementations on how it can support institutions in defining sustainable documentation strategies for immersive media. Based on a review of five esteemed documentation strategies and interviews with professionals and artists, Annet Dekker’s three phase framework – process, presentation, recreation – was tested to the documentation of two case studies. The sample of case studies was selected for their extensive available documentation. Analysis of the documentation strategies resulted in a synthesis divided into the categories: tool, documentation phase, characteristics and institutional aim. The synthesis was used to make recommendations into the documentation strategy of the case studies proposing a complementing strategy to the existing documentation to achieve a holistic approach. From the results, it was suggested that the PIMKB should take Dekker’s framework as a procedural structure, to demonstrate the various characteristics and iterations of an artwork. This allows for a holistic understanding of an artwork’s behavior and artistic intent for future recreation or for conservators to make weighed decisions in the future. Further research could complement these findings by exploring how this could function from an institutional perspective, looking more specifically at the affordances of the archive and information systems.
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Lennaerts, K. (2022, July 11). Anticipating Obsolescence.